Exclusive: this is six4one!

by Sietse Bakker 183 views

The casting session for Switzerland's entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2006 in Athens was held between 25th and 27th November in the Olympia Studios in Munich. The organisers' aim was to find singers with the winning combination of voice and personality. Rather than setting out to create a “boy- or girl-band band”, they were looking for six soloists � six strong voices � to represent Switzerland in Athens.

Producer and composer Ralph Siegel, along with those in charge of the selection at Swiss national broadcaster SRG SSR, ultimately selected six artists from six different countries.

Israel is home to shooting star Liel. At just 16, Liel has already shared a stage with greats such as Elton John, Bono and the Scorpions. In the past two years alone, she has given more than 100 concerts around the world, and is already being celebrated in the USA and Germany as the new Céline Dion. Liel uses her music as a way of campaigning for world peace. 2006 will not be the first time that an Israeli singer has represented Switzerland: In 1963, Esther Ofarim came second at the Eurovision Song Contest in London with the song T'en vas pas.

Andreas Lundstedt, from Sweden, is a member of the world-famous band Alcazar. The band had the whole of Europe humming in 2002 with only its second single, Crying at the Discotheque. Andreas has been in show business since he was a child. At the tender age of five he took second place in a talent contest, and by 15 was singing and appearing on television in the child band Stage Four. After spending two years in New York, he returned to take part in the Swedish national heats for the Eurovision Song Contest, in which he was runner-up with Driver dagg faller regn. The track was a huge hit in Sweden. He has since gone on to perform in a variety of musicals, including Grease and Chicago, and is currently starring as Toni Manero in Saturday Night Fever at the Oscarsteatern in Stockholm.

Tinka Milinovic is from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Born in Sarajevo, at 17 she moved on her own to the USA, where she studied singing at Louisiana College. In 1996, she graduated cum laude as Bachelor of Music, and continued her studies at the University of Louisiana's School of Music, where she majored in opera singing, performance and teaching, receiving a Master of Music degree. In addition to playing a variety of roles in numerous operas and musicals, she performs as a soloist and has also worked with the Sarajevo Philharmonics. In 2005, Tinka took part in Bosnia and Herzegovina's national Eurovision Song Contest heats. Here, she was the TV audience's favourite but was placed second by the nine-strong jury. For two years, Tinka has had her own radio talk show on Bosnia and Herzegovina's biggest radio station. In addition to that Tinka is in her 4th season as host of the highest ranked TV show in the country, the TV Bingo Show.

Another well-known singer comes from Malta: Keith Camilleri. He is popular with all the Maltese for his passionate voice. Regular guest on Maltese TV shows Keith enjoys the popularity in his country and travels around the world to pursue his dream of becoming an internationally famous artist. In February 2004, he took part in the Maltese national Eurovision Song Contest heats, coming an excellent fourth with the song Tango for two. In 2005, Keith again enjoyed musical success in Malta with the track Sunshine in your eyes. This year he also participated in a project performing in Italy with Robbie Facchinetti of the world famous group I Pooh.

Marco Matias' roots are in Portugal. Although his parents emigrated to Germany, he returns regularly to his homeland. Marco and his band took third place in the Grand Prix music contest for the Portuguese-speaking world in Portugal in 2000. Three years later he took part in the open casting session to find the voice of Germany 2003. Out of 12,000 entrants, Marco made it to the last nine and was ultimately placed second in this major ZDF production. Marco and his duet partner Nicole Süssmilch achieved another second place in the German national heats for this year's Eurovision Song Contest.

Last but not least, the group includes Claudia D�Addio of Switzerland. Claudia has been known as 'The Voice' since her appearance on the MusicStar casting show. Along with the other MusicStars, she has already celebrated two number-one hits. Claudia's incredible voice makes her without doubt one of Switzerland's best singers. Her passionate performances give away her Italian roots.

The group six4one has been brought together with with a single common goal; success for Switzerland in Athens. Ralph Siegel and Bernd Meinunger wrote the song of the group.

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